Naga gov’t to buy energy-saving bulbs

NAGA CITY — The Sangguniang Panlungsod here has passed City Ordinance No. 2010-053 which appropriated the amount of P983,000 to cover the purchase of some 4,000-plus compact fluorescent lights (CFL) to replace the energy-guzzling old-fashioned mercury bulbs used in the city’s streetlights.

The city’s council decision came after City Councilor Nelson S. Legacion delivered a privilege speech urging for the immediate replacement of the city’s 2,496 pieces of 160-watt and 1,961 pieces of 80-watts mercury bulbs with the more economical and environment-friendly 24-watt compact fluorescent lights.

Legacion in his privilege speech said that his urgent call came after he had close discussions with the city’s General Services Department chief Arthur Abonal.

He said given certain projections and assumptions, they came up with a computation that showed how much savings the city would realize if it uses compact fluorescent lights instead of the traditional mercury bulbs that are currently used in the city’s streetlights.

Legacion said that by doing so, the city stands to gain annual savings of as much as P31.9 million, which is equivalent to P2.3 million a month, or a daily savings of P87, 318.90 on streetlights. “The investment cost [that the city council will appropriate] is recoverable in a matter of only ten days,” Legacion said, adding that “It is this same amount we will be losing in the event that we do not act immediately in favor of the course of action that I am proposing.”

He underscored that given the average daily savings of P87,318.90, “it will only take 9.69 days for us to be able to say that we have already recovered the said total investment cost of P846,830.00.”

The amount appropriated by the Sanggunian during last Tuesday’s session will cover the purchase of 2,496 pieces of 160-watt and 1,961 pieces of 80-watt mercury bulbs, respectively, and the rest of the amount for the replacement of 800 more pieces of 100-watt incandescent lamps with the CFL that altogether would raise the total savings to P35 million per year.

The country is moving to phase out incandescent and/or mercury bulbs by the end of 2010 in favor of more energy-efficient fluorescent lights to help cut Greenhouse gas emissions and household costs. Such measure is now being followed in Canada and Australia, as well as in Ireland and Japan.

An Associated Press report said fluorescent bulbs need just 20 percent of the electricity that incandescent lamps use to produce the same amount of light. They also last six to ten times longer than the average incandescent bulb.

According to edie.net: “Experts estimate the switch to CFLs will result in household lighting costs in the Philippines falling by as much as 80%, and the country’s annual Greenhouse gas emissions falling by 2 million metric tonnes. National electricity demand is expected to fall by 2,000 megawatts – equivalent to the electricity generated by six power plants.”

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